IFA Chicago Leads Fiscal Sponsorship Showcase [Exclusive Photos]

IFA Chicago hosted an exciting new event on Wednesday, May 15th, where selected filmmakers from its Fiscal Sponsorship program came to the IFA Hub to pitch their projects and receive notes from industry professionals. The feedback panel was led by esteemed Chicago filmmakers Betsy Steinberg, Jack Newell, and Christina Shaver.

The film projects were: Burning Sage, An Account, The Cabinet Maker, Fortified, Wonderful World, Indie Soul Journey, and Buffalo (fka Happy Birthday Jimmy). And you can click on each project to learn more about the filmmakers, and, more importantly, to donate.

Overall the event was a helpful exercise for these filmmakers as they continue to develop their independent projects, but also, the evening was beneficial to anyone in the independent filmmaking space hoping to learn more about projects that may need help/collaboration, about insights from industry professionals on how to position ones’ project, and more.

IFA Chicago welcomed more than 50 guests to the Hub for an engaging evening that left the filmmakers and audience energized and informed.

Here are some photos from the event, courtesy of IFA Chicago…

About the Event:

IFA Chicago Fiscal Sponsorship participants delivered ~5 minute pitches about their project and its stage(s), and then our panelists provided advice on current state, next steps, opportunities from here, etc. After the presentations, everyone was invited into the main Hub space to socialize and talk to the sponsored projects about their work. The goal was to support these IFA members with an evening of development toward their films/series/etc, while providing a valuable experience for all levels of filmmaker and our broader community.

About our panelists:

Betsy Steinberg is a media consultant advising clients on creative, strategic and financial issues. She has served as the Director of the Illinois Film office from 2007-2015, Executive Director of Kartemquin Films from 2015-2018, and Executive Producer on Academy Award nominated documentaries (e.g. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Edith+Eddie, and Minding the Gap as well as nine other projects including Steve James’ epic series America to Me). Betsy has developed, produced, directed and written television projects for History, A&E, National Geographic and the Discovery Networks and was named Chicagoan of the Year in Film by the Chicago Tribune in 2015.

Jack C. Newell is a writer, director, producer, actor, and public artist. He is the co-creator of Destroy Your Art, the co-creator of the public art project, The Wabash Lights and created The Second City Film School at The Second City. His feature film credits include 42 Grams, Hope Springs Eternal, and Open Tables. His films have screened theatrically, and premiered at various film festivals and on all major streaming platforms. Recently completed films include How (not) to Build a School in Haiti, Monuments (Nashville Audience Award ’20), and Bettendorf Talks (SXSW ’24). He has directed commercials for McDonald’s, Kmart, The Second City, Kraft, and many others. www.jacknewell.com

Christina Shaver is a member of the IFA Chicago Creative Cabinet and writes and produces comedies and dramas for a variety of platforms. Previous to her film career, she worked twenty years in executive management in the non-profit and tech sectors. A Chicago native, Christina graduated from Northwestern University with Honors, and also from the Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City.

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